By Thomas L. Brodie

Some time past 40 years, whereas historical-critical experiences have been looking with renewed depth to reconstruct occasions in the back of the biblical texts, no longer least the lifetime of Jesus, branches of literary reports have been eventually attaining adulthood. First, researchers have been spotting that many biblical texts are rewritings or alterations of older texts that also exist, hence giving a clearer experience of the place the biblical texts got here from; and moment, stories within the old artwork of composition clarified the biblical texts' team spirit and goal, that's to claim, the place biblical texts have been headed. the first literary version at the back of the gospels, Brodie argues, is the biblical account of Elijah and Elisha, as R.E. Brown already observed in 1971. during this attention-grabbing memoir of his existence trip, Tom Brodie, Irishman, Dominican priest, and biblical student, recounts the stairs he has taken, in an eventful existence in lots of international locations, to his end that the recent testomony account of Jesus is largely a rewriting of the Septuagint model of the Hebrew Bible, or, often times, of previous New testomony texts. Jesus' problem to would-be disciples (Luke 9.57-62), for instance, is a change of the problem to Elijah at Horeb (1 Kings 19), whereas his trip from Jerusalem and Judea to Samaria and past (John 2.23-4.54) is deeply indebted to the account of the adventure of God's observe in Acts 1-8. The paintings of tracing literary indebtedness and paintings is way from complete however it is already attainable and essential to draw a end: it really is that, bluntly, Jesus didn't exist as a historic person. this isn't as damaging as may well before everything seem. In a deeply own coda, Brodie starts off to advance a brand new imaginative and prescient of Jesus as an icon of God's presence on the earth and in human heritage.

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I turned first to those I knew best-old friends in Trinidad, especially those experienced in scripture. If over a period of a year we could examine the manuscript closely it would be much clearer whether to scrap it or develop it. On 1 2 May 1 975 I returned for a trial visit of six weeks-delighted to be back, regardless of the manuscript-and within an hour oflanding, I was sit­ ting with Everard Johnston, Lecturer in scripture and dogma, at his house in Picton Street, Port of Spain, discussing the manuscript.

His final paragraph ( 1 906: 40 I ) became classic: He comes to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lake-side, he came to those who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same word: 'Follow thou me! ' and sets us to the tasks which he has to fulfill for our time. He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience Who he is.

He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience Who he is. After Schweitzer, interest diminished in reconstructing Jesus' life as a whole, and from about 1 920 to 1 950 attention moved especially to form­ history ('form criticism'), in other words, to looking closely at specific sayings and episodes in the hope that, by identifying their form-whether for instance a saying was law, or prophecy, or wisdom-it would be possible to 26 Beyond the Questfor the Historical Jesus detect their history.

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